ASCAP unveiled a new advocacy initiative -- "Bill of Rights for Songwriters and Composers" -- during its third annual "I Create Music" EXPO at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles (April 10-12).

Targeting established and emerging artists for support, the performing rights organization has begun collecting signatures via a special web page ( ASCAP gathered the physical signatures of Steve Miller, Lionel Richie, Fergie and Justin Timberlake, who were among the top honorees at its 25th annual Pop Awards (April 9).

Marilyn Bergman, ASCAP board chair, says the goal of the initiative is to "support all music creators, reminding lawmakers, the general public and music creators themselves of the rights inherent in their art." To further underscore the digital-age issues confronting songwriters and composers, ASCAP plans to present the Bill of Rights and collected signatures at a Washington, D.C. event slated later this year for legislators and the press.